Sunday, May 21, 2023

When writing takes a back seat

 May 21, 2022

It's difficult to imagine I've been retired for a year! I'm actually between two anniversaries - the day I walked out the door for the last time on May 19, 2022, and the day of my retirement reception on May 22, 2022. It's been quite a year. Time has, as they say, flown by.

One of the major pillars of my retirement plan involved my writing career. I planned to set aside a block of time each day for writerly pursuits. It hasn't happened. I've been too busy. 

Now don't scoff. Take a hop over to and catch up. 

We have three beautiful acres to tend. My partner is in a wheelchair so "if it is to be, it is up to me." The responsibility for ninety-five percent of the home and garden chores is on my shoulders. I don't mind. I enjoy mowing, splitting wood, and other outdoorsy pursuits, but they do keep me from writing and blogging. I've been busy getting my little container garden planted, fertilized, and watered this time of year. 

The spousal unit has "suggested" that I need to cease the attempt to complete every chore in just one day. He may be correct, but there is a lot to do and I prefer to do it before the heat of summer forces me inside. I know better than to do yardwork when the temperature gets above eighty degrees Fahrenheit. His heart may be in the right place, but I doubt it. He wants me to spend my days waiting on being with him and doing his projects. 

I find myself doubting I have the discipline needed to get back to writing every day. Can I really set a cut-off time on my chores and come to the computer and write? Will I be able to concentrate on a story when there are chores left undone, or worse, only half done? 

This retirement thing isn't quite what I thought it would be. Only half of my vision is in focus and I'm floundering. How do I bring clarity to the part of the plan that is writing? 

I knew the first year of "retirement" would be transitional. I just didn't know it would be so hard on something I love so much.


Social media links:
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:
My country life at The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor:

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, a writer's life, contemporary romance, LGBT gay romance, m/m romance, writing, blogging, country lifestyle, rural living, romance books for Kindle, handicapped spouse, retirement woes

Saturday, May 13, 2023

What do readers really want?


May 13, 2023

What do readers really want in a story? It's one of those "magic bullet" questions to which, if we knew the answer, we could deliver the perfect story. I've been writing for over twenty years and I still don't have a proper response. 

It's raining today. I spent half a cup of coffee gazing out the window into the woods watching a single deer move silently through the trees, carefully choosing each delicate hoof fall on its journey to a place it knows may be dryer. The woods are so very green this season, and the fawn-brown deer stood out against the foliage. The rain is more of a mist, and it blurs the vision, softening the appearance of everything in sight. Do readers want to know this? 

The heat pump sits just outside one of the sunroom windows. The fan came on and the water droplets on the top grillwork came to life, dancing and swirling before flying away to seek the wet ground. Do readers want to know this? 

It's begun to rain harder now, bringing myriad sounds to intrude into the clicking of my keyboard. There is the steady beat on the roof and an equally steady drip as water runs into the gutter and downspout. Do readers want to know this? 

Or as one of my colleagues has suggested, do readers only want to visualize naked bodies straining toward a joint peak and use the writer's imagination as to the sounds of their lovemaking? 

Writing to please only other readers, and I say 'other readers' because I am the first reader of my story, or writing to a particular market as it can be called, can be a recipe for disaster. The writer attempts to become a psychic, a mind reader, to please what they hope will be a huge readership and reap those rewards. 

I've never been very successful at mind-reading. It's not part of my skill set. I plod along in the dark, never knowing if a story will turn out the way someone else will like. Did Harper Lee and Margaret Mitchell expect their stories would become literary classics? 

Probably not when they first sat down to write those stories. Whether they started with a mere kernel of an idea or the entire story came to them as dawn broke, there was no way for them to anticipate the impact of their words. They simply told their story the way it should be told. 

It has occurred to me that's the way it's supposed to be and I would do better to emulate them. 


Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:
My country life at The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor:
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, writers on writing, gay romance novels, LGBTQ romance, m/m romance, a writer's life, rainy days, bestselling authors, Kindle romance novels

Friday, May 5, 2023

Life happens but never at a steady speed

 May 5, 2023

Life happens, you know? I've been rolling along rather well in 2023. There have been a few ups and
a few downs, but all in all forward progress has been achieved. Back in February, Devilishly Delicious Dane  
 (***Update October 10, 2023 ******This title is no longer available***) was published, and the current work-in-progress is moving along at the pace I anticipated. That is to say, I'm at least working on it along with everything else in life. 

I've been concentrating on some things that feed my spirit the way writing used to do. There have been so many changes in the industry that left me feeling adrift. I've been successful with my indie releases, but I do miss the camaraderie of other authors that was found at Amber Quill. Social media outlets don't provide the same level of privacy and communication. 

The 2023 gardening season is upon us. I created a plan and almost stuck to it. I have green things already growing in buckets and grow bags which makes me very happy. It feeds my soul to walk through my small garden space in the morning and look for newly sprouted seeds. Being outside in the morning light, as the sunshine filters through the trees, is magical. 

It shouldn't be a surprise to learn the current WIP features a garden. Our main characters need to have something to work on that keeps them in each other's orbit and eventually unites them in a common direction. Helping an old man with his garden is it in this story.  

Today is one of those days I want to write, but real life has its tentacles in me today. After six days of nasty rainy, cool weather, the sun is shining. I have bedding plants to get into pots, grass to mow, weedwhacking to do, and I need to restring the lights where I park my car. The lights are a bit of a priority as I'm out after dark with the dog and it's now snake season on the mountain. If I have any energy left after those chores, I need to hop on the John Deere 1023 with the Brush Crusher and go move a downed tree to the firewood processing area. I hope my partner can help, but with his health, I can't depend on it. 

Later tonight, again if I have the energy, will be the time to sit at the computer and work on the WIP. There's no point in railing against the delay in doing what I really want to do. It's counterproductive and I've lived long enough to know life happens. I need to embrace every day as it comes and search for those nuances that lead me in the proper direction, whichever way that may be.


Social media links:
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:
My country life at The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor:

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, a writer's life, contemporary gay romance, LGBTQ, m/m gay, erotic romance, romance novels, rural living, indie publishing, ebooks, snakes, gardening, time management, life decisions